Demographics of inceldom

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This article discusses the demographics of inceldom.

Race[edit | edit source]

Although involuntary celibates are often stereotyped as white, polls and surveys suggest otherwise. This poll from braincels shows that whites constitute only 28% of that forums population, with the largest racial demographic being currycel. The largest poll by showed that only 50% of its members were white[1], which is quite small for a Western web forum. Social Anxiety Support by comparison is about 99% white.

According to a peer-reviewed study, the stereotype that is mostly white is incorrect. The paper stated, "It is impossible to say whether the majority of users are white men, but our data implies that this may be less true than expected". "However, there is one major and important difference to other [...] communities: The community is more heterogeneous than other [...] communities, because users are not united by a common goal, but by a feature that its individuals share, i.e., not being able to engage in social and/or sexual contacts". "There is no definite evidence that users are predominantly white, contrary to what is often reported about incels"[2]

Economic and education status[edit | edit source]

The economic background of incels appears to be very diverse. A survey from the incel forum reports 59% middle class, 33.8% lower class, and 7.2% upper class (N = 550).[3] Further, 50% had a high school degree (or are in high schooll), 38.8% college and 11.2% graduate school.[4] These data are not necessarily representative of incels overall. Data from Germany suggest that university students are possibly around twice as likely to never have had sex compared to others of similar age, and further supports the notion that incels have diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Number of incels in the U.S.[edit | edit source]

Share of American young adults in stable partnerships has been cut almost a third to 49%
Virginity of both sexes by age (2006-2008) based on NSFG data (pdf). The male curve always lags behind by 2-3 years as suggested by the excerpt below (each age group has N's of ~10,000). The drop for males at 35 may be betabuxx or men seeing prostitutes. In 2019, for males this curve will look similar, but shifted to the right by ~4 years such that the average 18-30 is around 27%.
Virginity, by sex (NSFG 2006-2008)
Age % female virgins % male virgins M:F sex ratio
15–17 60.3 52.4 0.9
18–19 29.7 24.1 0.8
20–24 12.3 14.3 1.1
25–29 3.4 3.8 1.1
30–34 1.9 3.1 1.6
35–39 0.9 1.3 1.4
40–44 0.3 1.2 4.0

Sexless men between 18 and 30 are on the rise according to the Washington Post using data from the U.S. nationally representative General Social Survey (GSS).[5] GSS data also shows that among today's 18 to 34 year olds, 51% have no stable partner, up from 35% in 1986.[6] Further, roughly 30% of millennials are often or always lonely and 22% have no friends which likely overlaps inceldom because a sex partner would count as companionship or a friend.

The 95% confidence interval for men who did not have sex in the past year aged 18-30 is 20%-34% (N = 137). Combining data from 2016 and 2018, one finds an estimate of 24% (N = 311, 95% CI: 19%, 29%). A study by Poortman and Liebroer found that only roughly 4% of singles preferred their singlehood over being in a relationship.[7] Further, only 1% of the population self-identify as asexual.[8] Provided that sex is regarded as the most satisfying and joyous experience, it seems implausible that many would voluntarily forgo sex. Hence, accounting for volcels, the percentage of incels among millennials is likely a bit less than the sexless, so likely roughly between 15% and 30%, likely a bit higher as of 2019.* With 57 million millennial males, this amounts to 8-17 million male millennial incels, and 2-3 as many in an unstable or no relationship.

Focusing more on reclusive incels (hikikomori), in 2019, professor Simon DeDeo estimated a somewhat lower figure, namely 700,000 in the U.S for men over 25 years old,[9] and 1.3 million for men over 18 years old.[10]

* Boring side note: This reasoning has, of course, various limitations. For one, singles who reported to prefer their singlehood in Poortman & Liebroer could be having casual sex otherwise. Also, men who see prostitutes have sex, but may still count as incels. Conversely, men in long-distance relationships, religious men or very career-focused men might voluntarily forgo sex, hence might rather count as volcels or temporarycels. On the other hand, one could question whether systemic circumstances pressure men into these situations, which could then count as involuntary. Today, people might involuntarily marry much later as a consequence of cultural, economic and environmentalist pressures forcing them to do so. Indeed, career-focused singles tend to report they focus on their career because they are single rather than vice-versa.[11]

More sexless men than women[edit | edit source]

In the GSS survey 2018, only 18% of millennial women had no sex in the past year compared to 28% of men,[12] but this difference is not statistically significant, meaning it could be coincidental. However, combining survey years 2016 and 2018 for female millennials, one finds 17% of women are sexless (N = 337, 95% CI: 13%, 21%), which is significantly different from men's figure for these years of 24% (X² = 4.6, p = 0.03). Including year 2014, it becomes more significant (X² = 6.3, p = 0.01, 21% M vs 15% W). This difference in is likely mainly due to women getting into relationships earlier, in their prime years, dating older men, and possibly due to open relationships, polyamory, serial monogamy, harems, online dating and other forms of de facto polygamy, i.e. Chads getting more of the pie. Regardless of the cause, this undeniably means men's sexual needs are less likely met in this age bracket.

The IFS found there is a greater share of men are sexless both among wedders and nonwedders, also based on GSS and other data,[13] and also much later marriage. The IFS also found sexlessness is on the rise overall. Indeed, between 1990-2006 in GSS, only 13.4% of men aged 18-30 had no sex in the past year (N = 2013, 95% CI: 11.9%, 14.9%), but in 2012-2018 it was 20.8% (N = 682, 95% CI: 17.7%, 23.8%), which is a significant change (z = 4.6, p < .00001). For women it was 11.5% (2489, 95% CI: 10.3%, 12.8%) and 14.5% (742, 95% CI: 12.0%, 17.0%), which is also a significant change (z = 2.2, p < .03).[14] Men experienced a larger decline (-7% vs -3%), though, which agrees with other findings that sex has become more unequally distributed for both sexes, with the most sexually active men getting more sex than ever.

The tendency that men are more likely sexless can be observed across the world as summarized below and also in terms of reproductive success,[15] and is likely a result of women's higher parental investment.

Conclusion: Young people generally have less sex and men even less. Also few people have more sex at the same time, without resulting in a net increase though. But the largest changes are less stable relationships and later marriage.

Sexlessness is worse for men[edit | edit source]

In addition to the greater prevalence of male inceldom, men should also be more sexually frustrated by this because they have a higher sex drive. For example, men are much more likely to agree to unsolicited invitations to sex (~5% vs ~65%).[16] While findings suggests that poor mating performance is related with lower well-being for both sexes, there are also findings that being single of widowed is a larger risk factor for men (see adverse effects of inceldom).

Some feminists have claimed the comparison in acceptance to invitations to sex is not a fair measure of how much women suffer from sexlessness because women need to know the men first to be safe. However, there is evidence that women do engage in very adventurous sex with no hope for reciprocity or investment on part of the man, namely if the man has exceptionally high status[17] and/or is exceptionally good looking (sexy sons hypothesis) and even abusive/violent men (hybristophilia). Van Halen had sex tents set up at his performances.[18] This proves women do engage sometimes in adventurous, unsafe sex, therefore most femlcels are believed to be volcels. Feminists have a point in that women have more parental investment, but phenomena like sex tents and sexy sons suggest women exploit their ability to choose from many men somewhat, so their inceldom seems more self-inflicted. Women are naturally oblivious to these facts.

Sexual frustration is a majoritarian issue[edit | edit source]

With inceldom near tripling in a decade and steady partnerships almost cut in half for those between 18-35, as shown above, we can see that inceldom issues are approaching a majoritarian issue. With 51% of young adults without a partner, we can safely conclude that the amount of people sympathetic to incels due to their own situation may now be a majority of young adults.

Earlier estimates[edit | edit source]

Brian Gilmartin in the 1980s estimated that 1.5% of all American men are incelibate, estimating them at 4.7 million people. [19] A 2012 report by The Centers for Disease Control claimed that within the past year roughly 6% of men ages 25 to 44 have not had any sexual partners. The Washington Post correlated this figure within inceldom; thus making roughly 6% of that age group virginal incelibates (per Washington Post).[20] This graph from Lyman Stone of the Institute for Family Studies that shows that male 12-month celibacy between the ages of 22-35 grew to around 14% of young men as of 2016.[21]

Other countries[edit | edit source]

China[edit | edit source]

China (as well as India) have some of the largest surplus of males and hence a huge number of male incels which is thought to even aggravate in the coming decades and is thought to become a substantial threat to social stability. The Washington Post produced an article with impressive visualizations of the problem.[22]

Finland[edit | edit source]

The rate of sexlessness increased and the rate of masturbation decreased in recent years, affecting especially among men aged 30-40.[23] Further, the number of young men having more than two sex partners decreased for men, but remained stable for women (see figure on the right). For more figures and discussion of the study, see the scientific blackpill[24] and this forum thread.[25]

Germany[edit | edit source]

For Germany, incels are called Absolute Beginners, or ABs. There are no comparable data to the GSS or NFSG with variables about virginity. Some sources claim inceldom affects twice as many males as females with 10 percent and 5 percent respectively, however the source of this claim remains dubious.[citation needed][26] Older data from 2008 suggested that among 18-30 year olds, 60.4% of men and 35.6% of women were singles, largely due to women marrying men who are older than themselves, and due to very young men lack the ability to provide who indeed make up the majority of singles.[27] Interestingly, these figures from 2008 are similar to GSS in 2018 as discussed above. Even though men might bloom later, this points to substantial gynocentrism in that women in their twenties have their sexual fundamental needs more likely met.

A survey from 2008 by „Neon“ estimated the number of ABs aged 20-35 to be 4% of women and 6% of men.[28] Much higher numbers than this were found for student ABs in 1996. Among students groups aged 18-30, 7.5% of women but 13.7% of men never had sex. Among ages 28-30, 8.4% of men never had sex, but only 2% of women (p = 0.003).

In 2000, sex researcher Kurt Starke found 10% of male university students below 29 were virgins ("Absolute Beginners"). Psychotherapist Poschenrieder claims to have received roughly 150 counselling requests from Absolute Beginners.[29] Some sex researchers have claimed that Absolute Beginners are not rare,[30] and sex columnist Caroline Fux said that AB's are common.[31][32]

The emergence of ABs has been blamed on various factors including a skewed sex ratio, such as a surplus of women or a surplus of men in particular regions.[33] According to Jakob Pastötter, President of the German Society for Social Science Research, the phenomenon of the Absolute Beginner is more prevalent among those with demisexuality (a sexual orientation characterized by only experiencing sexual attraction after making a strong emotional connection with a specific person).[34] Acording to sex consultant Sarah Nerb, 2.4% of adults in Germany are Absolute Beginners.[35]

ABs come from a wide range of professional backgrounds,[36] and they vary in their physical appearance (ABs are not only physically ugly people)[37][38] which may serve as some anecdotal evidence against the notion that inceldom is primarily caused by lookism, but these claims remain somewhat dubious as it could have been selection bias of the sort that only good looking people seek help from female sex therapists and are inclined to participate in a TV show.

India[edit | edit source]

Due to a surplus of young men they suffer higher rates of inceldom than women. Whereas as women usually lose their virginity during their teens, men are more likely to lose it in their twenties in India. Statistics also show that the rates of inceldom for men are higher in the south of India than the north.[39] Men in India have the least sex of all countries.[40]

Japan[edit | edit source]

Japan has among the highest rates of incels and has had them for quite a while. At of 2019, 10% of 30 year olds have no sexual experience. 24.6% of 18-39 year old women have no heterosexual experience, up from 21.7% in 1992. For men it increased from 20% to 25.8%. Sex differences are remarkably small.[41]

Norway[edit | edit source]

One Norwegian study showed "the proportion of childless men (at age 40 years) has increased rapidly for Norwegian male cohorts from 1940 to 1970 (from 15% to 25%). For women, it has only increased marginally (from 10% to 13%)." Personality traits have also become increasingly important for male fertility.[42] As in the other countries, the result points to a greater prevalence of male incels than female incels.

United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

The rate of U.K. incels has also risen considerably. Among 26-year-old millennials (born 1989-1990) 12.5% had no sexual experience, but in previous generations it was only 5% at the same age.[43]

Demographics of incel forums[edit | edit source]

See also: Incel forums demographics[edit | edit source]

The currently largest incel forum conducted two surveys so far of its userbase. 59.5% of users were between 18-25 years old and few are younger. 22.5% have had sex. 56.1% were White/Caucasian.[44]

/r/braincels[edit | edit source]

In agreement with the result above, around 55% of incels on /r/braincels were Caucasian.[45]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  15. Brown, G.R., Laland, K.N. and Mulder, M.B. 2009. Bateman's principles and human sex roles. [FullText]
  33. Heiratsmarkt und Marriage Squeeze. Analysen zur Veränderung von Heiratsgelegenheiten in der Bundesrepublik, Universität Heidelberg, Abgerufen am 1, September 2014
  38. Monika Büchner: Für die Liebe ist es nie zu spät: Absolute Beginner – wenn Sie das erste Mal noch vor sich haben. J. Kamphausen, Bielefeld 2016, S. 30, S. 47.